First Car (memories) - Randolph Lee
I got an email telling me that I should have put this msg in its own thread sorry... how many recall their first car and how many still have theirs?

I still have and drive my first car.

A Jeep CJ2A.

My father bought it new the year I was born (1948) and gave it to me in a non running condition when I was 15 so that I would learn how things worked and have something to drive when I turned 16...

I took all to bits and put it back together that year (it needed a new flat head and piston rings and some gear box work(2ed gear synchro) and some pop rivet work on the body and a new clutch and the brakes needed work and the steering kit needed renewal and the fuel pump needed rebuilding and the water pump and the radiator

(cause of the cracked head that had put it out of service was the botom mount radiator core falling to bits in the middle of nowhere... hose run from one side of water pump to the other... after run home bonnett lifted in the dusk to see the head glowing red... buckets of water dumped on same to keep engine from freezing up when turned off... after the steam cleared many crackes in the head but engine still running on about 2 pots!)

I learned about cars from that machine It had about 75,000 miles when I got it and has over 265,000 miles on it now... it is my summer daliy driver.
~R
Re: First Car (memories) - ladas are cool
austin A35, it broke down on the way to london, so i had to sell it.
Re: First Car (memories) - THe Growler
Austin 10 1934 reg no APX 110. Nice leather inside but populated by various living creatures. KIngpins so worn car was very hard to keep in a straight line above 20 m.p.h. Brakes I don't recall, perhaps because there weren't any. Certainly the handbrake never worked, so a piece of 4 X 2 had to be carried for placing in front of the rear wheel. Engine had so little compression it was essential to park facing downhill otherwise it might never start. Friday night I used to whip out the plugs and pour in some Holts Piston Seal. This usually provided enough compression so as not to let the girlfriend down on Saturday night. Paid 10 quid for it. The (then) 10-Year Test was about to be introduced, so I sold it for 8 pounds 10 shilings. It was never taxed, I couldn't afford it, and the bicycle copper who lived down the street was always nagging me if I didn't tax it soon he'd "'ave a word with your Dad, young man'".

Truly it was a horible load of old junk and I went back to motorbikes with an A10 Golden Flash. But I certainly learnt how to use a crash gearbox! There is always a tendency for rosy nostalgia when harking back to one's first car, in my case absolutely not!
Re: First Car (memories) - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up Ltd.)
1964 Hillman Imp (7170 PO) bought against the advice of everyone. I soon learnt the intricasies of head gasket replacement and shimming up valves. A wonderful little car that once de-cambered would outcorner any local mini and that engine...so sweet. In desperation just before us lads took it on holiday was to make a head gasket from solid copper sheet and torque the head down to within a flat of stripping. Smothered with wellseal it held until I sold it to buy a '57 Minor convertible which reverted to its raw materials within a couple of months, then a '65 Minor 3door, wish I still had it.
Re: First Car (memories) - John Davis
My launch into the world of motoring was a Ford Model Y. This was Ford's first £100 car although, in around 1957/8, my 1935 example was already a bit ancient. Still, at £12.10 it did offer something which the recently sold Vincent Comet did not. No heater of course but, the girls at our local weekly hop, who had previously been glad of a lift home on the pillion of my "girdraulic" sprung Series C 1951 masterpiece from Stevenage, and who were being seduced by lads with Morris Series E's and Ford Populars, it's ample (for those days) rear seat, and it's suitabilty for some potentially weather protected hanky panky, brought me, memorably, back into the passion stakes in a way which that draughty pillion never could. Happy days.
The Ford gave way to an Austin Seven but it's cable brakes, never very good at the best of times, but brought to some sort of efficiency by much use of "butterflies" (who remembers those helpful devices for taking the slack out of cables ?) had to accomodate the alarming tendency of the single front transverse spring moving backwards as the brakes went on. It was always a matter of fine tuning with the cables to ensure that all the slack in the front spring and solid axle mounting, was taken up before the brake pedal contacted the floor. One day it didn't and the Austin radiator embedded itself into the back of a Standard "Flying 12", which, being fitted with "Bendix self wrapping brakes" stopped on a sixpence on some wood block road in east London. Mind you, those Bendix brakes only worked for about a couple of days after being set up, and, sadly, I was following a proud owner as he left a garage following a long overdue brake job. If it had been a day or two later, he could not have stopped in a hundred yards.
The mangled Austin was replaced by an MG TA but, with it's propensity to break it's three bearing crankshaft and the intricacy of that cork lined clutch, running in oil, the local hop had to be abandoned in favour of my rickety workshop so, any testing of the MG's undoubted appeal to the opposite sex (until all those Sprite's. Lotus Elite's and Dellow's came along) in my case, never really got off the ground. National Service loomed and I had other things on my mind.
Re: First Car (memories) - Ian Cook
Randolph

You'll have us all crying in our virtual beer with this thread.

Here goes.

Ford E93A Popular (sit up and beg) - XLF 503. Mine was one of the last made, being first registered in 1959 when its replacement, the 100E had already been on sale for a couple of years.

For what it was, the Pop was wonderful. It had so little technology it was difficult for it to break down other than by catastrophic failure.

6 volt electrics. Starting handle. Rod brakes. No water pump (thermo syphon), and no heater either. 3 speed box with crash first gear. Electric wipers too! Plywood floor (at least it was in the front).

Bought for the princely sum of £6 - a write off, as it had fallen onto its side whilst cornering. Put back on the road with a door taken off an abandoned Pop in Brighton, early one Sunday morning, and taxed for £9 (four month's tax, in those days).

I sold it for £65 and it's probably still running, maybe the Taliban are using it - I couldn't bust it!

Ian
Re: First Car (memories) - Honest John
1959 left hand drive Isetta 300 bought for £18 as a non runner from a scrapyard; sold a year later for £60. I even passed a test in it. Emergency stop was sideways with slight opposit elock, but he still passed me. Probably never wanted to ride in the thing again. After one hairy downhill run at 60mph, a half Persion half English girlfriend announced, "That was FANTASTIC. I've never been in anything so unsafe."

HJ
Re: First Car (memories) - alwyn
1955 Ford Consul in black with red upholstery. Umbrella handbrake, bench seats and three speed column change. £350

TKF 251. Anyone seen it? :-)
Re: First Car (memories) - Phil Goodacre
1963 Mini. £25. Plywood floors in the front, 1100 engine under the bonnet which was one of those glass fibre Clubman ones, complete with straps to keep it shut. Disney stickers over all the holes. Never let me down but didn't bother taking it for MOT, just drove it to the scrappers and got a tenner for it.
Re: First Car (memories) - Tom Shaw
1970 Reliant Regal Supervan 3, courtesy of only having a bike licence at the time. Ran out of fuel on the way home from the dealer and the carb blocked. Two weeks later the back axle broke. After that it was ok and I kept it for two and a half years, the longest I have ever had the same car. You could remove three of the plugs, the carb and the distributor while sitting in the drivers seat. Murder in snow or on potholed roads as the front wheel hit everything.
Re: First Car (memories) - Richard Hall
I just remembered I owned a worse car than the Chevette. Mk2 Escort 1300, bought when I was unemployed, broke and desperate. It only ran on 3 cylinders, the front chassis legs were so rotten that I was afraid of level crossings, and the rear wheel arches were made from old biscuit tins beaten into shape and pop-rivetted on.

Just after I had been offered a job, I drove down to spend a weekend with a gun-owning friend (this was before the handgun ban). After a few drinks, we thought it would be a good idea to shoot my car. So he got out his .357 revolver and .22 target pistol, and we spent a very happy few minutes blowing holes in the bodywork, before retiring indoors for more drinks. Luckily my attempts to fire tracer bullets into the petrol tank failed, mainly because I couldn't remember where the tank was. Didn't break any glass, either, although the handbrake lever got bent out of shape.

Next morning I awoke with a crashing hangover, and it slowly dawned on me that I would have to drive a bullet-riddled car 150 miles back home. This struck me as an excellent way of attracting the police, who would be unimpressed by the roadworthiness of my Escort (which had 2 days MOT left to run). So I spent half the day sticking little glassfibre patches over all the holes, then gave the entire car a coat of black underseal. It got me home without being pulled, and I sold it for £50 a couple of days later.
Re: First Car (memories) - Richard Hall
Oops, that should have been in the 'Worst car' not 'First car' thread. Sorry.
Re: First Car (memories) - Tim Allcott
Sorry, that was meant to link to the Reliant regal thread (although mine was a 'fools and horses' supervan, although not signwritten, and in turquoise.
Re: First Car (memories) - Tim Allcott
Oh thank god someone else has owned up to having one. 36,000 miles in two years, including Lancaster to Eastbourne!
Did you ever work on the carburettor? That side access hole was a B*£%&R!
Mind you, fibreglass body and alloy engine, it used to suprise some people away form the lights...
My front wheel fell off though.
Subframe went....
Re: First Car (memories) - Tom Shaw
No mini below 1275GT could live with me away from the lights, Tim!
Re: First Car (memories) - Peter M
Ee, when a' were a lad...
In 1959 my dad bought me a 1848 Morris Series E as a first car. I drove it to art college for about 18 months, but it was one of the first cars with monocoque chassis, and it was seriously rusty - every few weeks the spring shackle would poke through the floor behind the driver's seat, and my local garage would weld a patch over it. After many welds, the floor thickness was such that back-seat passengers had their knees under their chin.
The end came when I took it in for yet another patch - the mechanic was jacking it up when we noticed that the wheels were still on the ground, and the body was bending. the doors wouldn't close, and all that was stopping the front and back meeting was the prop shaft! Still driveable (to the scrap yard)though..
Re: First Car (memories) - ladas are cool
i know that morris cars were old but a 1848 morris series E, it must have slow and steam powered ;-)
Re: First Car (memories) - THe Growler
Not bad for a 111 year old Morris!
Re: First Car (memories) - ladas are cool
sorry growler, i didnt know that you had said something about the 111 year old morris.
Re: First Car (memories) - Peter M
Sorry,
That should, of course have said 1948.
What eagle-eyed Backroomers you all are..!
P
Re: First Car (memories) - Cockle
Believe it or not, happy memories of an Austin 1100, good fun when it wasn't dropping rear sub-frames all over the place. Good memories of sunny summer days having just met SWMBO. Once got stopped by the Bill and got asked the reg, replied 'FOX57D, Officer', 'then why does the rear plate say FOX75D, sir'. The front and rear plates were different and in six months I hadn't noticed!!! Took three-quarters of an hour and production of log-books, etc,etc to clear that one up. Nice thing was the copper thought it was a laugh as well, perhaps they just had more of a sense of humour then.
Re: First Car (memories) - Brian
My first car, Ford 100E. Over 35 years ago. Cost £60.
When I got it home I thought that the brake light switch had gone, but it was just both bulbs burnt out.
Fuel consumption about 25 mpg on a good run. Oil consumption not much less; came home from Wales one night and for the last 60+ miles stopped on the forecourt of each (closed) garage and drained the dregs of the oil cans from their bins into the engine.
Body rusted away rapidly. It ended up with front wings more fibreglass than metal and the sills stuffed with wood. Exhaust held together with wire and Gun-gum.
Starter motor chewed its' teeth regularly. Radiator full of Radweld.
Oh: the good old days.
Re: First Car (memories) - The Growler
With the cylinder head off and the fluids drained it was possible to lift the 100E engine out singlehanded. I know cos I dun it one night and put it on the kitchen table to take it apart, and barely had to time to clean up the mess before Mum woke up.
 

Value my car